The 300-page “superseding” indictment issued May 1 replaces the May 2010 indictment of Lewis; his former chief operating officer, Patricia Reid; her former husband, Anthony Pope; and Reid’s secretary, Cointa Moody, on charges of running a criminal enterprise that sent millions of dollars to Pope while he was married to Reid and to vendors in exchange for cash, sports tickets and other perks totaling more than $33,332.25.
In the original indictment, prosecutors said Reid manipulated four school projects at Columbia High, McNair Cluster Elementary, Mountain Industrial Center, and Arabia Mountain High to benefit Pope and Lewis signed off the changes and that they benefited from gifts of sporting and theater tickets.
The new indictment said that more than $80 million in contracts were obtained through some type of fraud and that Pope made over $2 million on the deals. It includes four counts of racketeering, one count of theft by taking by a government employee, and one count of bribery. It drops charges against Moody and charges of falsifying a public document against the group.
Moody is now expected to testify as a witness.
The May 1 indictment alleges that Lewis used his public office for illegal private gain and to conceal waste, fraud, abuse and corruption.
“Rather than operating in the best interests of DeKalb County’s children, Lewis, [Pat] Pope and [Tony] Pope stole or facilitated the theft of millions of dollars, performed or approved payment for substandard work, blocked legitimate contractors from receiving or completing contracts, and manipulated projects to meet their own unlawful objectives,” the indictment said.
The new indictment also includes new evidence of e-mails concerning Hawks basketball tickets, letters about Falcons football tickets, and an invoice and check to cover Pope’s legal fees.
It also names Audria Berry as the female employee with whom Lewis allegedly had an affair. It said Lewis used his position to “initiate and facilitate” an affair with Berry, who was then executive director of school improvement under teaching and learning department. Berry is now a second-grade teacher at Flat Rock Elementary in Lithonia.
“Specifically, he paid for a room using his P-Card at the Ritz Carlton in Greensboro, Ga., on March 12, 2008, which he used exclusively for personal use with a female subordinate accompanying him,” the indictment said.
The indictment also said that on Dec. 22, 2008, Lewis said in a meeting with other school officials in his office that Reid had tried to blackmail him. He later gave her a new contract and pay raise but denied to investigators that she had tried to blackmail him.
The indictment says that Reid told Lewis “that she knew things about him which would damage him and she would tell everyone if the investigation did not stop.”
Lewis later tried to get then-District Attorney Gwen Keyes Fleming to stop the investigation into Reid.